Why Lena Dunham And Amy Schumer Shouldn't Be Anyone's Feminist Role Models
Two hundred years ago, women had to beg and plead to get the attention of male lawmakers as they attempted to secure basic rights for females… rights such as voting, owning property and receiving basic public education.
In today's hyper-connected world, women have an international platform that their 18th-century counterparts couldn't have even dreamed of. Unfortunately, while some females are harnessing the power of the internet and social media to promote equality and unity, others – like Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham – are using it to make a mockery of themselves, and by extension, a mockery of their entire sex.
A recent controversial interview between the two quickly sparked outrage, as Lena essentially accused Odell Beckham Jr. of being sexist for simply not talking to her at the Met Gala. However, it's become increasingly clear that this isn't an isolated incident for these ladies.
Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham's incoherent whining is proving to be a clear example of a fringe movement: a type of fourth wave feminism that turns feminism from a serious issue into a joke.
The two are clearly confused about what exactly feminism is, so allow me to provide some clarification for both Schumer and Dunham.
1. Feminism is not simply focusing on women's bodies.
For two women who claim they're much more than just their bodies, they sure do spend a lot of time talking about them. While most women are perfectly capable of going to the beach, taking a picture and simply posting it on Instagram, both Schumer and Dunham seem to feel the need to repetitively remind the world that they aren't a size 2.
While body positivity is important, Dunham and Schumer's constant focus on their bodies means that the conversation superficially remains on their looks.
For example, Schumer used her platform at the Glamour Women of the Year awards not to bring attention to a worthy social platform, but to announce that she weighed 160 pounds and had no problem meeting men.
2. Feminism is not all about sex.
While feminists have spent decades telling women that they are more than sexual objects, and that their sexuality is theirs and theirs alone, Dunham and Schumer promote promiscuity as if they've just signed a lucrative, six-figure deal with it.
Katie Yoder sums it up best by saying,
We don't need comedy that presents women as selfish, out-of-control and sex-obsessed. Women don't need a spokeswoman who tears people down for laughs. We don't need someone who tells us to be sexually explicit to get attention.
Women have been fighting to be viewed as more than their sexuality for centuries. Yet, it's the focus of most of Schumer's standup and much of Dunham's HBO show, “Girls.”
Rebecca Carrol accurately refers to Dunham as “a 20-something white woman who grew up in wealth, likes to get naked and have sex on TV and call it feminism.”
3. Feminism is not male-bashing.
I can only imagine the confusion that must have gone through Odell Beckham Jr.'s head after he read Dunham and Schumer's interview. The man was invited to a prestigious, fancy event, where he probably had a very nice time.
A week later, he finds himself criticized for not hitting on Dunham. Dunham – who couldn't possibly fathom the idea that maybe he was interested in another female, maybe he was dating someone else or (gasp) maybe she just wasn't his type – wrote an incoherent, babbling piece in which she literally put words into his mouth and depicted him as sexist for no reason.
4. Feminism is not crying foul every time someone disagrees with you.
Feminists can take the heat as well as any man can. Contrary to popular belief, every time someone disagrees with you, it's not acceptable to cry sexism, which seems to be a popular defense mechanism for both Dunham and Schumer.
An op-ed on ixdaily sums up Dunham's simplistic nature perfectly:
What has continuously happened with Dunham is every time she's criticized, she points to the craziest claim and says, ‘I can't be blamed for that! That's ridiculous conservatives being ridiculous!! Feminism, am I right?'
She doesn't take the time to consider that the criticism might be valid. Instead, she blames it on sexist attitudes.
Meanwhile, Schumer was outraged when a 17-year-old fan made a lame joke on Reddit about her, despite the fact that she regularly makes the same kinds of jokes about herself in her standup comedy routines.
If Schumer and Dunham can't take the heat, maybe it's time they both go back into the kitchen and leave the important stuff to the real women.
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